Developing a suite of novel land conditioners and plant fertilizers from the waste streams of biomass energy generation

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Lancaster Environment Centre

Abstract

Soils provide, support and regulate fundamental processes in the environment, including nutrient cycling, plant growth, and have a strong influence on ensuring purity of the atmosphere, as well as water supply and quality. Through the delivery of these ecosystem services, vital global biodiversity and, ultimately, the sustenance of the human population is maintained. However, exploitation of soils through intensive agricultural practices such as the over application of phosphorus and nitrogen fertilisers, has resulted in their degradation and, as a result, a diminishment of soil fertility, threatening future global food security.
Phosphorus is a vital, non-renewable element required for crop growth, upon which agriculture is now almost entirely dependent to maintain current levels of food production. The extraction and processing of phosphorus, is also extremely environmentally damaging, and originates from a non-renewable source for which demand is rapidly increasing with no alternative available in the volume required. The production of nitrogen fertiliser is also a highly energy intensive and unstainable process, is tied strongly to the price and availability of fossil fuels. As the global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, humanity faces an urgent need to balance an ever increasing demand for energy and natural resources, with the sustainable management of ecosystems and the vital services that they provide.
If managed correctly, the bioenergy sector presents a unique opportunity to, in part, address the challenges facing agriculture, energy generation, and waste disposal. Gasification, incineration, biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion (AD) are currently the dominant technologies being deployed to convert a wide range of biomass and waste biomass derived fuels into renewable energy. The by-products generated from these technologies themselves, such as ash (rich in phosphorus) from biomass thermal conversion and digestate (rich in nitrogen) from AD, have complimentary nutrient values and properties conducive to their use as soil conditioners and fertilisers. However, these waste streams are a typically undervalued, and frequently disposed of at a cost, with little consideration of best practice for environmental health due to the lack of quantitative evidence on which to base informed decisions at appropriate scales or across science disciplines.
It is the overarching aim of this research to mix ash and digestate waste materials to form a new, safe and sustainable source of nutrients for agricultural practice, thereby reducing pressure on natural resources and to address some of the challenges facing bioenergy waste disposal. This will be achieved through the following:
(i) To physically and chemically test the individual digestates and ashes and the resulting mixtures for consideration as soil amendments.
(ii) To compare the impact of selected digestates and ashes and mixtures against traditional fertilisers on soil properties, plant growth (winter wheat and pea) and the cycling of nutrients under carefully controlled conditions in glasshouses.
(iii) Following intensive glasshouse studies, the most promising of the blended soil amendments will be tested and compared to conventional fertiliser application in the field over two growing seasons for winter wheat and pea.
(iv) To engage with the Environment Agency about the way forward in developing the most promising soil amendments for use in agriculture as genuine alternatives to conventional fertiliser application.
Following extensive testing on selected crop types both in glasshouses and under field conditions, the final blended ash and digestate product(s) will be applicable for use in an agricultural setting as a direct substitute for traditional fertilisers. Benefits include a reduced dependence on phosphorus and nitrogen fertilisers, as well as maintenance of the physical chemical integrity of soil, thereby aiding long-term food security.

Planned Impact

This research will contribute to paradigm-shift, to change in the way in which bioenergy 'waste' is perceived, from an expensive problem, to a truly sustainable substitute to traditional fertiliser products, with holistic environmental and economic value. Through providing a market for ash and digestate waste-streams from bioenergy generation, the development of a blended product will remove the cost burden, which is presently a significant disincentive to the generation of renewable biomass energy schemes, promoting further bioenergy developments. Direct benefit therefore, will extend from the commercial bio-energy operators by way of reduced waste disposal costs, waste management companies who can maximise the value of the materials by processing, through to the grower who can use lower cost and more sustainable products. Beyond immediate commercial beneficiaries, these benefits will transfer through the supply chain to the wider public, as food and power consumers, who will access more cost effective, sustainable and secure food products, as well as lower impact energy supply. Longer term, nutrient recovery will ensure that food production remains economically viable in the face of depreciating supplies of raw phosphate, and higher cost nitrogen, whilst a more viable and extensive network of low-carbon bio-energy production facilities will provide improved energy security. Both improved food and energy security will allow the UK to meet its obligations for carbon reduction under the Kyoto Protocol.
Looking globally, the use of rock phosphate reserves is increasingly geopolitically sensitive, with the mineral deposits under the control of a handful of countries such as China, the US and Morocco. China has recently imposed a 135% export tariff to ensure domestic supply. In addition, the import of P rock from Morocco is sensitive, as it currently occupies the Western Sahara, controlling its P reserves. Hence, trading with these regions is highly condemned by the United Nations. Further to these politically unstable sources, the USA is estimated to have less than 30 years of high quality rock phosphate reserves remaining. Hence, for countries such as the UK with no natural rock phosphate mineral reserves, political, legal and economic challenges related to primary P use are likely to become increasingly important issues as global supply declines. The UK, and indeed other countries, will therefore be increasingly dependent upon recycling of P to ensure economic competitiveness of agriculture.
With respect to nitrogen, the production of N fertilisers relies heavily on adequate supplies of methane from which hydrogen gas can be generated; hence it is tied strongly to the price and availability of fossil fuels. Reduced dependence on the Haber Process as a result of N formation from anaerobic digestion of waste materials will significantly reduce the UK's dependence on foreign gas imports for fertiliser production. The development and demonstration of efficacy of waste-derived fertilisers therefore presents a benefit to any user of fertilisers who is currently reliant on traditionally sourced products.
It is hoped that the proposed eventual End of Waste submission for the product, which will be derived from the "mixing" of two wastes in its simplest terms, will go some way to reframing and addressing the current perception of waste as a "disposal issue", and truly redefining waste as a resource. Although waste recycling and reuse has come a long way in recent years, the perception of wastes as ingredients to be blended and reused is not yet fully established as acceptable. This project will serve as a case study for future waste policy and legislation: The use of waste in food production is an application which is potentially highly sensitive to the end-user, and as such, success in this area will do much to promote movement and change in perceptions.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Fagbohungbe M (2015) The effect of substrate to inoculum ratios on the anaerobic digestion of human faecal material in Environmental Technology & Innovation

publication icon
Fagbohungbe M.O. Effects of acidogenic anaerobic digestion on digestate nutrient stability and availability. in Environmental Technology and Innovation

publication icon
Fatunla K (2017) Influence of composting and thermal processing on the survival of microbial pathogens and nutritional status of Nigeria sewage sludge in International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture

publication icon
Lag-Brotons A (2020) Editorial: Resource Recovery From Waste in Frontiers in Environmental Science

 
Description Mainly from the point of view of the environmental values/benefits enabled now or in the future

DIRECT
o The use of digestate/digestate+ash blends showed greater carbon storage potential than common widely used inorganic fertilisers. Thereby, additional potential environmental benefits derived from soil organic matter increase are favoured/increased (e.g. nutrient retention; soil biodiversity).
o Further research is required on effects of digestate+ash blends dosage on earthworms toxicity to determine proper management and elucidate mortality causes at highest application doses.

INDIRECT
o Substitution of synthetic and/or mined fertilisers (reduction of primary fertiliser use)
o Reduction of environmental detrimental impact associated with mining
o Potential reduction on fertiliser application, due to enhance nutrient efficiency and decreased nutrient losses from the system.
Exploitation Route - Data could be used to inform the best management practice of anaerobic/biomass blends used as soil conditioners (display of strengths/risks of use of this type of material)
- Data could be used to inform further research related to the formulation of fertilisers/soil conditioners from these materials at a post-processing stage (Resource recovery/efficiency)
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Environment

 
Description The main field of non-academic impact has been policy. There have been many ways in which we have engaged with policy, but in particular and in terms of impact: - Report from the Chief Scientist Adviser on the value of waste: Kirk Semple, Alfonso Lag Brotons, Rachel Marshall Lois Hurst and Ben Herbert. Resource Recovery: linking renewable energy, waste management and sustainable agriculture. In: From waste to resource productivity. Evidence and case studies. Chapter 3: Science and Innovation. Government Office for Science. pp 42-44 - Lancaster University Faculty Impact Grant - Awarded to Dr Rachel Marshall and Prof Kirk Semple to support the research and publication of a RRFW policy note focusing on organic wastes, including the work of AVAnD and other relevant RRfW projects. This policy note has been used to communicate key policy messages from the RRfW programme and was cited in the 2018 Defra Resources and Waste strategy. The impact award also funded Rachel in policy related activities including: a. co-ordinating a briefing event at the House of Commons for the RRfW programme, b. co-ordinating a roundtable meeting with top Defra policy makers in the Circular Economy for RRfW PIs c. attending consultation and evidence meetings for Defra's Resources and Waste strategy
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Chief Scientist report_Waste & Circular Economy 2016 report_Chapter 3 - Science and Innovation; Resource recovery: linking renewable energy, waste management and sustainable agriculture
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Impact This contribution influences towards the realisation, within the "biomass-to-energy" and "energy from waste", of the value of the by-products and substances categorised as "wastes" generated in these schemes. Ultimately, it leads to the realisation of the finantial and societal benefits of the UK bioenergy industry. NOTE: report to be released soon
 
Description Citation in the 2018 Defra Resources and Waste strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://resourcerecoveryfromwaste.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/rrfw-ppn-the-organic-waste-gold-rush-w...
 
Description Government Chief Scientific Adviser's and DEFRA Chief Scientist annual report scoping workshop: 'Waste: Closing the loop on resource efficiency'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a guidance/advisory committee
 
Description Publication of report published by the Government Office of Science
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/from-waste-to-resource-productivity
 
Description Accelerating the adoption of circular sanitation demonstration systems for improved health outcomes (ACTUATE)
Amount £704,276 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T015608/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund - RCUK Collective Fund Growing Research Capability to Meet the Challenges Faced by Developing Countries
Amount £6,840,704 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/P01857/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 12/2021
 
Description International Opportunities Fund
Amount £48,330 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/R005230/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description Technology Strategy Board: Agri-Tech Catalyst - Early Stage Feasibility
Amount £54,188 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R021619/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Title Chemical composition of anaerobic digestate and biomass ash blends as a result of storage 
Description The dataset contains the chemical compositional changes occurred in anaerobic digestate, with and without biomass ash, simulating storage conditions during 128 days. Additionally, Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) was added to these materials to test the effectivity on preventing nitrogen loss via acidification. Experiments were carried out in the laboratory during 2016, being measured via a combination of internal and external laboratories. The dataset provides data on chemical changes, namely: dry solids, pH, Kjeldahl nitrogen and total sulphur. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/id/e91e8c28-0176-4c5b-9b20-611eb505ab39
 
Title Dewaterability potential of anaerobic digestate and biomass ash blends using polymer dose approach 
Description The dataset contains the chemical composition of anaerobic digestates derived from source-segregated food waste & agro-waste, with and without biomass ash, after the addition commercial polymer to enhance dewaterability. A preliminary experiment was carried to determine the type of polymer and its optimum dose (WP1A1). Then, polymer was added to digestate and digestate/ash blends, let react for short-time and physically separated into their fiber and liquid fractions (WP1A2). These experiments were carried out in the laboratory during 2016, being measured via a combination of internal and external laboratories. Preliminary experiment (WP1A1) contains data on polymer type, dose and mass added as well as supernatant and solids separated. Main experiment contain data on masses (dry & total solids), supernatant volume, pH and plant macro-nutrients profile (total concentration of Ca, Mg, P, K, TKN and S). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/id/2977fc7b-f83e-4696-b06b-2f589ffa6965
 
Title Physico-chemical characterization of anaerobic digestate and biomass ash derived from UK bioenergy production 
Description This dataset contains nitrogen data from nitrate, ammonium and nitrite, total nitrogen and carbon data, and elemental composition data from anaerobic digestate and biomass ash from UK bioenergy production. Anaerobic digestate was sampled 8 times from different industrial scale plants across the UK between January 2015 and January 2018 and biomass ash was sampled in January 2015 and June 2016. Anaerobic digestate was sourced from segregated food waste (mainly household waste), pig slurry, maize silage, vegetables waste, sweet corn waste, aerobically treated food waste, food manufacturer waste and other biodegradable sludge from within the UK. Biomass ash, both fly and bottom ash, from virgin and recycled wood was sourced from three sites within the UK and one from Spain. All laboratory analyses were undertaken at Lancaster University using standardised methods. The data were collected as part of the research grant, Developing a suite of novel land conditioners and plant fertilizers from the waste streams of biomass energy generation. The research was funded by NERC, award NE/L014122/1. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://catalogue.ceh.ac.uk/id/990c54f6-5c92-4054-8bfa-953533a89149
 
Description AquaEnviro - AVAnD collaboration 
Organisation Aqua Enviro
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution - Provision of experimental materials (anaerobic digestates and ashes) derived from bio-energy production, and instructions on how to blend these waste streams. - Intellectual input -> Experimental design, results interpretation.
Collaborator Contribution The role of AquaEnviro concerning the AVAnD project is fully related to the formulation of the novel fertiliser (workpackage1), namely the blends generated by the combination of anaerobic digestate and biomass ash. Their experimental work is focused on the these blends (novel fertiliser), studying: a) Nutrient fractionation - determination of the nutritional profile of the blends prior and after physical separation treatments b) Dewaterability - determination the impact of ash on the dewaterability of digestate; optimisation and feasibility assessment c) Stability - assessment of the blends characteristics affected by storage time and pH variation (acified, non-acidified)
Impact There are still some parts of the experimental work that AquaEnviro is leading which had not reached an end. It is expected that in May 2017 results (datasets) will be available. Outputs on this collaboration are expected to be generated in the last six month of the AVAnD project (June17 -Jan18) This collaboration could not be considered multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2015
 
Description RRfW 
Organisation Aqua Enviro
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Initially working with Stopford Projects to draft a catalyst proposal for the initial RRfW call from NERC. Following on from this funding, two workshops were hosted at Lancaster University to which a number of researchers and companies were invited to attend to discuss the area of using waste products from the biomass energy production sector as soil amendments in agriculture. From these workshops, I was able to pull together a team of academics and companies in support of a second much larger research proposal which was submitted to NERC and subsequently funded.
Collaborator Contribution Active participation at the workshops mentioned above Contribution to the formulation of a research proposal which was submitted to NERC under the RRfW call and subsequently funded.
Impact Paper accepted for publication: Matthew J. Riding, Ben Herbert, Lois Ricketts, Ian Dodd, Nick Ostle, Kirk T. Semple. Harmonising conflicts between science, regulation, perception and environmental impact: the case of soil conditioners from bioenergy. Environment International. Accepted. Funded grant proposal as a result of this project: Semple, K.T. et al. NERC/DEFRA (2015-18). Developing a suite of novel land conditioners and plant fertilisers from waste streams of biomass energy generation, £856,484.
Start Year 2013
 
Description RRfW 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Initially working with Stopford Projects to draft a catalyst proposal for the initial RRfW call from NERC. Following on from this funding, two workshops were hosted at Lancaster University to which a number of researchers and companies were invited to attend to discuss the area of using waste products from the biomass energy production sector as soil amendments in agriculture. From these workshops, I was able to pull together a team of academics and companies in support of a second much larger research proposal which was submitted to NERC and subsequently funded.
Collaborator Contribution Active participation at the workshops mentioned above Contribution to the formulation of a research proposal which was submitted to NERC under the RRfW call and subsequently funded.
Impact Paper accepted for publication: Matthew J. Riding, Ben Herbert, Lois Ricketts, Ian Dodd, Nick Ostle, Kirk T. Semple. Harmonising conflicts between science, regulation, perception and environmental impact: the case of soil conditioners from bioenergy. Environment International. Accepted. Funded grant proposal as a result of this project: Semple, K.T. et al. NERC/DEFRA (2015-18). Developing a suite of novel land conditioners and plant fertilisers from waste streams of biomass energy generation, £856,484.
Start Year 2013
 
Description RRfW 
Organisation Stopford Projects
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Initially working with Stopford Projects to draft a catalyst proposal for the initial RRfW call from NERC. Following on from this funding, two workshops were hosted at Lancaster University to which a number of researchers and companies were invited to attend to discuss the area of using waste products from the biomass energy production sector as soil amendments in agriculture. From these workshops, I was able to pull together a team of academics and companies in support of a second much larger research proposal which was submitted to NERC and subsequently funded.
Collaborator Contribution Active participation at the workshops mentioned above Contribution to the formulation of a research proposal which was submitted to NERC under the RRfW call and subsequently funded.
Impact Paper accepted for publication: Matthew J. Riding, Ben Herbert, Lois Ricketts, Ian Dodd, Nick Ostle, Kirk T. Semple. Harmonising conflicts between science, regulation, perception and environmental impact: the case of soil conditioners from bioenergy. Environment International. Accepted. Funded grant proposal as a result of this project: Semple, K.T. et al. NERC/DEFRA (2015-18). Developing a suite of novel land conditioners and plant fertilisers from waste streams of biomass energy generation, £856,484.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Stopford Energy and Environment 
Organisation Stopford Projects
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Academic research expertise and facilities
Collaborator Contribution Knowledge of the market underpinning the project - Resource Recovery from Waste
Impact None yet
Start Year 2013
 
Description The James Hutton Institute 
Organisation James Hutton Institute
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution - Experimental materials provision -> a) anaerobic digestates; biomass ash and blends of these materials (novel fertiliser); b) samples resulting from experiments - Intellectual input -> full experimental design (glasshouse, blends effects on the soil plant system, AVAnD leading) and contribution to another (pathogen persistence, blends/ash eefect on P-cycling, JHI leading).
Collaborator Contribution The James Hutton Institute work was lead by Marc Stutter and consisted in: - Experimental materials characterisation: NRM analyses (soil, blends, digestate, ash), soil properties determination (those affecting P-speciation and P-cycling) - P-availability assay (using samples provided by AVAnD team): assessment of P-speciation in the different compartments in which it can be found in the soil-plant system (water, citrate and enzyme - labile citrate soluble), namely from organic or inorganic forms (including total content). -Microbial P-dynamics (in discussion): assay focused on the impact of using the anaerobic digestate and ash blends on P-cycling. - Pathogen die-off/persistence (in discussion): the idea discussed is to assess the sterilising effect of ash in the digestate (impact on microbial activity)
Impact Outputs had not yet been generated as data from finished experiments is being processed and there are still some experiments ongoing/planned. Irrespective of this fact, it is expected that at least two publications will be generated and published in peer-reviewed journal, being both inter-related and each lead by a different institution. The impact, according to the expected outputs, could not be considered multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Bioenergy Workshop at the University of Benin, Nigeria 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Kirk T. Semple and Dr. Alfonso Lag (in collaboration with other colleagues) organised and delivered the 1st Bioenergy Workshop at the University of Benin, Nigeria as part of the AVAnD project and the International Opportunities Fund project, together with elements of the RECIRCULATE project. Discussion on different aspects of the resource recovery from organic wastes, anaerobic digestion, use of digestate as a soil conditioner and/or fertiliser in Edo State, Nigeria.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Bioenergy residue workshop in Kenya 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the second 2-day meeting held at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. The first was held ion Nigeria. Another is planned at the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Lilongwe, Malawi. There will be a final meeting at Lancaster towards the end of 2019.

This workshop aims to consider the following two broad components: (i) bioenergy (anaerobic digestion) and (ii) digestate as an alternative to inorganic fertiliser.
(i) Bioenergy applicability and take up in East Africa
? Overview of bioenergy focusing on AD
? Feed-stock availability
? AD systems and technologies - fit for purpose
? Understand the limiting or inhibiting factors with bioenergy and AD take up in sub-Saharan Africa

(ii) Application of digestate and digestate mixed with other materials to land
? to characterise the bioenergy waste streams and how the concept of blending different wastes can be effective as agricultural soil amendments to replace conventional inorganic fertilisers;
? to identify the relevant research knowledge gaps and research questions which are pertinent to sub-Saharan Africa;
? to scope agricultural policy regimes in different African countries, and how policies might be able to support subsidies, tax cuts, credit lines for agricultural amendments and resource recovery from waste and waste management in the agricultural sector;
? to scope the current fertiliser compositions, nutrient regimes of agricultural inputs, commercial analysis and supply chain of fertilizers so as to understand how to make the mixtures low cost and effective for the region;
? to consider how communities can be engaged to embrace the use of bioenergy residues as cheap and sustainable alternatives to expensive and environmentally damaging conventional inorganic fertilisers.

The workshop was attended by academic researchers and PhD students from the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and South Eastern Kenya University; the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Republic of Kenya; Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Republic of Kenya; The African Innovations Institute, Uganda, and several SMEs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bioenergy residue workshop in Malawi 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the third 2-day meeting held at National Commission for Science and Tecnology (NCST), Lilongwe, Malawi. The first and second were held in Nigeria and Kenya, respectively. There will be a final meeting at Lancaster towards the end of 2019. This workshop aims to consider the following two broad components: (i) bioenergy (anaerobic digestion) and (ii) digestate as an alternative to inorganic fertiliser. (i) Bioenergy applicability and take up in Southern Africa ? Overview of bioenergy focusing on AD ? Feed-stock availability ? AD systems and technologies - fit for purpose ? Understand the limiting or inhibiting factors with bioenergy and AD take up in sub-Saharan Africa (ii) Application of digestate and digestate mixed with other materials to land ? to characterise the bioenergy waste streams and how the concept of blending different wastes can be effective as agricultural soil amendments to replace conventional inorganic fertilisers; ? to identify the relevant research knowledge gaps and research questions which are pertinent to sub-Saharan Africa; ? to scope agricultural policy regimes in different African countries, and how policies might be able to support subsidies, tax cuts, credit lines for agricultural amendments and resource recovery from waste and waste management in the agricultural sector; ? to scope the current fertiliser compositions, nutrient regimes of agricultural inputs, commercial analysis and supply chain of fertilizers so as to understand how to make the mixtures low cost and effective for the region; ? to consider how communities can be engaged to embrace the use of bioenergy residues as cheap and sustainable alternatives to expensive and environmentally damaging conventional inorganic fertilisers. The workshop was attended by academic researchers from NCST, the University of Malawi, Lilongwe University and several SMEs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description British Soil Science Society (BSSS) 2019 annual conference. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr. Alfonso Jose Lag Brotons attended the British Soil Science Society (BSSS) 2019 annual conference. He presented the findings of the AVAnD project and introduced the RECIRCULATE project to the audience (mainly members of the Soil Science Society).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Centre for Global Eco-Innovation: Eco-I conference - Innovation for Clean and Sustainable Growth (19th-20th September 2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Eco-I 2019 brings together academia, industry, and policy to share how recent research advances are driving eco-innovation across six key global challenges: energy, waste, food water, resource efficiency, and natural capital. Eco-Innovation is the development of new products, processes, and services which delivers positive environmental impact. It is a key mechanism for delivering changes required to respond to climate change and will support the global need to live within the limits of the planet. It has the power to decouple global economic growth from resource use and is fully consistent with delivering the UK Clean Growth Strategy.

African colleagues from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Malawi involved in this NERC-funded IOF project were invited to attend and present at this conference. It also gave them an insight into how Lancaster is working with the private sector and policy makers through eco-innovation, particularly in the waste-sustainable energy-food security nexus. Beyond supporting the aims of this project, this project and associated workshops have stimulated discussions to explore funding through which we can continue to collaborate. One success is the funded ACTUATE project (EP/T015608/1), with three other project proposals currently under consideration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.globalecoinnovation.org/ecoi2019conference/
 
Description Development of the Resources and Waste strategy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Ongoing interaction with Defra in the research and development of the Resources and Waste strategy. Part of this engagement work is funded by the Faculty Impact grant awarded by LU to Kirk Semple. Interactions include contributions to three meetings with Defra on metrics, evidence and evaluation for the 'Resources and Waste' strategy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Environment Agency 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Met with Dr Danielle Ashton from the Evidence Directorate: Scientific and Evidence Services of the Environment Agency. She expressed interest on our project. Following that meeting, we invited her and her team to be part of the project's Steering Group, which they accepted. They attended and contributed to the last meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Participatory situational analysis for the implementation of RRfW technologies and vision 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This NERC funded mini-project within the Resource Recovery from Waste programme, aims to promote knowledge exchange between people in academia, government and industry to enable you to access research outcomes and shape our on-going work. Four 1 day-workshops were carried out throughout the UK (Durham, Belfast, Edinburg & Cardiff). Each workshop strives to answer the question: "If we wanted to realise resource recovery in the UK, how would it be possible within our policy and regulatory context?" We will ask for your knowledge and experience to carry out a policy analysis, identifying drivers and barriers for resource recovery in general and for specific technologies, and identify which actors could drive required changes in the policy and regulation landscape. More specifically, Dr. Rachel Marshall organised and coordinated the workshop held in Belfast entitled " Producing soil conditioners from bioenergy residues". Further information and forthcoming updates can be found at: https://rrfw.org.uk/projects/mini-projects/participatory-situational-analysis-for-the-implementation-of-rrfw-technologies-and-vision/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://rrfw.org.uk/projects/mini-projects/participatory-situational-analysis-for-the-implementation...
 
Description Policy briefing event in Westminster 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Policy briefing event in Westminster. Participants comprised: Policy leads in Defra, BEIS, HM Treasury, MPs interested in economic value in decision making. Preparation for this has already stablished new contacts in BEIS and new MP contacts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RESOURCE RECOVERY FROM WASTE ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The team attended the final Resource Recovery from Waste Conference (2019) entitled 'Resource Recovery for a Clean, Low-Carbon and Resource Efficient Economy', which was held on the 16th January 2019, One Great George Street, London. The conference brought together five years of research to highlight the relevance of resource recovery for a clean, low-carbon and resource efficient economy. The meeting was opened by Beth House, NERC, who introduced the thinking behind the RRfW programme, aiming for a "paradigm shift" to progress the transition to a circular economy by moving away from a purely economic focus, to include generating environmental and social value. The conference was an excellent knowledge exchange and networking event, bringing together researchers from the Resource Recovery from Waste projects and from elsewhere in the UK, policy makers and companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RRfW Annual (2019) conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact RRfW Annual (final) conference. High level event bringing to a conclusion the RRfW programme. Dr. Alfonso Lag presented on behalf of the AVAnD project. Dr. Rachel Marshall chaired a session on perspectives on resource recovery from industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Where is the end of waste? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The activity is the collaborative write up of a blog entry related to "End of Waste" (EoW). This work is derived a specialist session on "End-of-Waste" at the European Biosolids and Organic Resources conference organised by Aqua Enviro in November 2017 (all the authors were part, directly or indirectly, of the discussion panel). Research and subsequent commercialisation efforts are riddled with regulatory challenges of which the EoW process is an important part. We aimed to clarify how can best achieve EoW in practice, based on the testimonies and experience of participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.organics-recycling.org.uk/uploads/article3422/End%20of%20waste%20panel_blog%20post_v3.pdf
 
Description Workshop in Nigeria 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the first of three 2-day meetings to be held at UniBen, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; and NCTS, Lilongwe, Malawi, representing western, eastern and southern sub-Saharan Africa, respectively. There will be a final meeting at Lancaster towards the end of 2019. Each workshop will consider the following two broad components: (i) bioenergy (anaerobic digestion) and (ii) digestate as an alternative to inorganic fertiliser.
(i) Bioenergy applicability and take up in Nigeria
? Overview of bioenergy focusing on AD
? Feed-stock availability
? AD systems and technologies - fit for purpose
? Understand the limiting or inhibiting factors with bioenergy and AD take up in Nigeria

(ii) Application of digestate and digestate mixed with other materials to land
? to characterise the bioenergy waste streams and how the concept of blending different wastes can be effective as agricultural soil amendments to replace conventional inorganic fertilisers;
? to identify the relevant research knowledge gaps and research questions which are pertinent to sub-Saharan Africa;
? to scope agricultural policy regimes in different African countries, and how policies might be able to support subsidies, tax cuts, credit lines for agricultural amendments and resource recovery from waste and waste management in the agricultural sector;
? to scope the current fertiliser compositions, nutrient regimes of agricultural inputs, commercial analysis and supply chain of fertilizers so as to understand how to make the mixtures low cost and effective for the region;
? to consider how communities can be engaged to embrace the use of bioenergy residues as cheap and sustainable alternatives to expensive and environmentally damaging conventional inorganic fertilisers.

The workshop was hosted by the National Centre for Energy and Environment (NCEE) in Benin City, Nigeria. Participants included researchers from the NCEE, academic researchers and PhD students from the University of Benin, University of Uyo and Igbinedion University; staff from the Centre for Global Eco-innovation, Nigeria; Edo State policy makers, and several companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018